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BIRMAN EMPIRE-BIRMINGHAM.

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call Gaudama. It enjoins no bloody sacri- sists of seven provinces. The capital, fices, and is extremely tolerant. The Ummerapoora, contains 175,000 inhabitBirmans have no secular clergy, but only ants. Rangoon, at the mouth of the a kind of monks dwelling in convents. Irrawaddy (pop. 30,000), is an important All the clergy practise celibacy, and eat trading city, and many Europeans reside but once a day. Every carnal indulgence in it. The Voyage du Capit. Hiram Cor, is punished by a disgraceful and public dans l'Empire des Birmans is better in this removal from office. The clergy are lit- French edition, by Chalons d'Ange (Paris, erary men, and highly esteemed for their 1824, 2 vols.) than in the original English piety and knowledge. They are permit- (London, 1821). (See, also, Narrative ted, however, to gild and paint. Former- of the Birmese War, by major Snodgrass ly, there were priestesses; but this order London, 1827; and Mrs. Ann H. Judhas been abolished, because it was found son's Relation of the American Baptist Misinjurious to the increase of population. sion to the Birman Empire, Wash., 1823). The government has long been struggling BIRMINGHAM; a town in Warwickshire, to maintain its independence between Eng., on a declivity, on the river Rea, the British dominions on the Ganges and which joins the Tame; 62 miles N. W. the Chinese empire. No part of Eastern Oxford, 87 N. Bristol, 109 N. N. W. LonAsia seems to apprehend an excess of don; population, in 1821, 85,753; families, population, and hence no female in China 18,165; houses, 16,653. Of the inhabitis suffered to emigrate. The Birmans are ants, 81,642 consist of families connected skilful weavers, smiths, sculptors, workers with trade and manufactures. B. has long in gold and silver, joiners, &c. Of this been distinguished for the variety, extent the citizens of London have had ocular and excellence of its manufactures, parevidence, in the great state carriage, de- ticularly in hardware. With perhaps the voted to the service of the gods, 19 feet exception of Manchester, it is the greatest high, 14 long, and 7 wide, which was manufacturing town in England. Among taken by the British troops, in the war of the principal manufactures are buttons, in 1825. In Birmah there are no hereditary immense variety, buckles and snuff-boxes; offices. Its civil and criminal code is very toys, trinkets and jewellery ; polished steel judicious; general principles are first laid watch-chains, cork-screws, &c.; plated down, and then applied to distinct cases. goods for the dining and tea-table; japankobbery is punished with death only ned and enamelled articles; brass work when the property stolen is very great, of every description; swords and fireor the offence is aggravated by particular arms; medals and coins of various kinds; circumstances. Capital punishment is copying machines and pneumatic apparacommonly inflicted by decapitation, and tuses; the more ponderous productions of extends to those who eat opium freely, the casting-furnace and rolling-mill; and, and to drunkards in general. The magis- indeed, every hardware commodity that trates have a great discretionary power to can be considered as curious, useful or mitigate the punishments of the law, and ornamental. The manufactories are esfew penal laws are executed in all their tablished upon the largest scale, and with severity. The standing army is small. the most astonishing ingenuity. A coinLevies are made, in case of war, by way ing-mill was erected in 1788, which is of conscription; and a specified number of now capable of striking between 30 houses is required to furnish a soldier and 40,000 pieces of money in an hour. completely equipped, or pay a considera- Before the close of the last war, no less ble fine. For the crime of insubordina- than 14,500 stands of arms were delivered tion, the conscribed are either punished per week to the ordnance office. At the personally, or their families are made to pin-works, it is said, 12,000 pins can be suffer, however innocent they may be. cut and pointed, and 50,000 pin-heads The principal part of the militia are em- can be made from the wire, in an hour.--ployed in the war-boats of the crown, B. is about two miles in length. The which sink about three feet deep, and are lower part of the town consists chiefly of provided with ordnance. The revenue old buildings, is crowded with workshops is a tenth part of the productions of the and warehouses, and is inhabited princisoil and of all imported goods. The pally by manufacturers; but the upper treasury is rich, and the sovereign regards part has a superior appearance, consisting an active trade among his subjects as the of new and regular streets, and containing surest basis of national revenue: he calls a number of elegant buildings. It conhis great income from customs the tribute tains three churches and five chapels of of strangers. The empire at present con- ease, and many places of worship belong

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BIRMINGHAM-BISCAY

ing to Dissenters. St. Martin's church him, and, while engaged in the siege of has a fine lofty spire, with a peal of 12 the fort St. Catherine, in the vicinity of bells, and a set of chimes. B. is distin- Genoa, having reason to believe that the guished for its charitable institutions, and king would come to inspect the trenches, has various schools, and several libraries, he sent word to the governor to dispose one of which contains 10,000 volumes. harquebussiers so as to fire on him at a The town has the benefit of several canals, certain signal. At the decisive moment, which enable it to carry on an easy inter- however, he prevented the king from course with foreign countries. It has three going to the fatal spot. In 1601, peace weekly markets, and two annual fairs. was made with Savoy. So many negoThe soil about the town is dry, and the tiations had not, however, escaped the eye

The average mortality of B., for six years, of their object. He therefore interrogated ending 1801, was only 1 to 59; of Man- the marshal as to his designs, with promchester, 1 to 37; and of London, 1 to 31. ises of pardon. B. made a partial confes

Biron, Charles de Gontaut, duke of; sion, and continued his intrigues as before. son of marshal Armand de Gontaut, baron Notwithstanding this, Henry sent him, in Biron, born about 1562. Educated as a the same year, to queen Elizabeth of Calvinist, he had twice changed his reli- England, to inform her of his marriage gion before he reached the 16th year of with Maria of Medici. In the mean time, his age. In his 14th year, B. was made B.'s confidant Lafin, having become suscolonel of the Swiss regiment, and served pected by the count of Fuentes, and beginHenry IV with much zeal and courage. ning to fear for himself, discovered the By the king's favor, he was, in 1592, whole plot. A frank confession and raised to the rank of admiral of France. repentance would have saved B., since Though distinguished at court as well as Henry was inclined to forgive him. He, in the field, always feared and praised, however, persevered in his denial, rejected he was violent, obstinate and presumptu- the offers of pardon, and was, therefore, ous. At the retaking of Amiens, in 1598, at the urgent entreaties of the queen, at B. served under Henry IV, and, in the last surrendered to the rigor of the laws. same year, was made a peer and duke. Upon leaving the king's room, he wag He thought himself, however, not suffi- arrested, carried to the Bastile, tried beciently rewarded. The Spanish party, fore the parliament, and beheaded, July which, after the peace of Vervins, could 31, 1602. injure Henry only by secret intrigues, BIRTH. (See Labor.) took advantage of the duke's discontent. BISCAY; a province in Spain, bounded Henry appointed him his ambassador at N. by the bay of Biscay, E. by France and the court of Brussels, to receive the oath Navarre, s. by Burgos, including the of the archduke to the peace of Vervins. three following subdivisions or provinces: The Spanish court seized this oppor

Sq. M. Pop. Capitals. tunity to dazzle him with festivals, spec- B. Proper. . 1375 112.731 Bilboa. tacles and honors; the female arts of Guipuscoa.. 653 104,479 St. Sebastian. seduction were put in practice, and the

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3166 288,606 1599, he concluded an agreement with B. is a mountainous country, containing the duke of Savoy and the count of Fuen- much wood, and has mines of lead and · tes, by which he pledged himself to take iron. It abounds in apples, pears, lemons, up arms against his benefactor. Mean- oranges, figs, nuts and currants, buč prowhile, war being declared against the duces little wine. The air is mild and duke of Savoy (1600), B. saw himself more temperate than the rest of Spain. reduced to the necessity of attacking him. The country is well cultivated, and the For fear that his understanding with the houses clean and convenient. The induke should become visible, he possessed habitants call themselves Euscaldunac, himself of almost all the towns in the boast of their descent from the ancient duchy, which was the easier because Cantabri, and preserve strong traces of Emanuel had expected some forbearance the character of that high-spirited and inon his part. Fuentes and the duke ven- dependent people. They are robust, brave, tured to propose to B., that he should active, industrious; at the same time, deliver the person of the king into their haughty and irritable; have open, anihands; but he refused. Their suggestions, mated countenances, and handsome per

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a dialect of the Celtic, and nearly allied according to the apostolic idea of the to the Armorican. (See Basques.)-B. office, chosen by the congregations, were forms a kind of separate state, distinct the assistants and successors of the aposfrom the rest of Spain, governed accord- tles in their labors for the propagation of ing to its ancient laws and usages. The Christianity. They had the supervision king of Spain, who is simply styled lord of the whole congregation, and its officers. of Biscay, has no right to impose taxes; the presbyters and deacons, but without

claiming, in the first century, any preëmlately, within the province.

inence or rights of diocesans, which they Biscay Proper is bounded N. by the afterwards acquired, as the church-govbay of Biscay, E. by Guipuscoa, S. by ernment was gradually established. When Alava, and W. by Santander. The coast the system of ecclesiastical rule was mais inhabited by seafaring people and fish- tured, the almost absolute authority which ermen; in the interior, great quantities they exercised over the clergy of their of iron are extracted from the ore, and dioceses; their interference in the secular wrought into different articles. The rich- concerns of governments, to which they est mines are in the vicinity of Bilboa and soon rendered themselves necessary, by Somorrosto.

their superior information and their eleBiscay, bay of; that part of the Atlantic vated rank; the administration of the which lies N. of the province of Biscay, church-revenues; the maintenance of their between the projecting coasts of France ecclesiastical prerogatives, and their exand Spain, extending from Ushant to cape tensive ecclesiastical as well as criminal Finisterre.

jurisdiction, occupied them too much to Biscay, bay of; a large bay on the south leave them any time or inclination for the coast of Newfoundland, between cape discharge of their duties as teachers and

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ed to themselves only the most important Biscay, New, or Durango; a province functions of their spiritual office, as the in Mexico, bounded N. by New Mexico, ordination of the clergy, the confirmation E. by New Leon, S. by Zacatecas, and of youth, and the preparation of the holy W. by Culiacan; 600 miles long, and 400 oil. In the middle ages, they attached to broad; pop. 159,000. The country is, in themselves particular vicars, called suffrageneral, mountainous, and watered by a gans, bishops in partibus, or coadjutors, great number of rivers and brooks: it has for the performance even of these funcsome mines of silver and lead. Durango tions, which they had reserved to themis the capital.

selves, and for the inspection of all that BISCHOFSWERDER, John Rudolph von, concerned the church. Bishops who have a Prussian general and minister, born in preached themselves, and attended to the Saxony, in 1756, entered the university of spiritual welfare of their congregations, Halle, was admitted into the Prussian have been rare since the seventh century. service in 1760, and appointed major in The episcopal office being such as we 1779. Under Frederic William II, he have described it, the nobility, and even exercised an unlimited influence at the the sons of princes and kings, strove to court of Berlin. The attachment which obtain a dignity which was as honorable he had shown Frederic William, while as it was profitable; and which, moreover, yet crown-prince, procured him the lasting permitted festivals and sensual enjoyments affection of this short-sighted and prodi- of every description. These applications, gal monarch. As plenipotentiary, he took which were aided by rich donations made a great part in the congress at Sistova. to the churches, and, in the case of the He afterwards effected the interview with German bishops, by the influence of lord Elgin, at Pilnitz. After the king's the emperor, gave to the bishops of death, he was dismissed, and died at his Germany, particularly, a high degree of country-seat, in the neighborhood of Ber- dignity. The Gernian Dishops became lin, 1803. His views, as a statesman and princes of the empire, and their influence a man, were very limited. His propensity upon all public affairs was important. The to mysticism had consequences in the reformation, however, lessened their numhighest degree injurious. B. belonged to ber, and although, in some of the Protestthe society of the Illuminati.

ant countries of the north of Europe, the Bishop, in the New Testament, is the higher clergy have retained the title of instructer and spiritual superior of a Chris- bishop, yet they have lost the greater part tian congregation. The bishops who were of their former revenues and privileges. installed by the apostles themselves, or, The Swedish bishops constitute one of

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the estates of the kingdom, like the Eng- BISMUTH is a metal called, by artists, lish, but have little influence. The Eng- tin glass, a name obviously derived from lish church has left to its bishops more the French étain de glace. It is found authority than the rest, and, for this rea- both pure and mineralized by sulphur, son, has received the name of the episco- oxygen and arsenic.--Native bismuth ocpal. In Protestant Germany, bishoprics curs in the veins of primitive mountains, were abolished by the reformation, but and is accompanied by ores of lead, silthey have been restored, in Prussia, with- ver, and sometimes of cobalt and nickel. in the last 10 years. The church of It exists in reticulated, lamellar, or amorRome early lost many bishoprics by the phous masses; is soft, and of a white conquests of the Mohammedans; hence color, occasionally tinged with red. Spe. the great number of titular bishops, whose cific gravity, 9. It is found in many bishoprics lie in partibus infidelium, that countries in France, England, Sweden, is, in countries in possession of the infi- Bohemia and the U. States-but its chief dels. The Roman see, however, honors locality is at Schneeberg, in Saxony, from with this title only ecclesiastics of a high whence the supply of bismuth, in comrank. In consequence of the cession of merce, is principally derived. To procure several German countries to France, 23 the metal, the ore requires merely to be bishoprics were abolished; but, by partic- reduced to convenient fragments, and ular agreements with the Roman court, heated in furnaces, when the bismuth they have been reëstablished in several separates from the earthy matter in which German states. (See Concordat, and Ger- it is engaged, and flows out into cast-iron man Church.) The former subjects of the moulds prepared for its reception.-BisGerman bishops remember their mild muth, when pure, has a reddish-white government with gratitude, and the prov- color, is harder than lead, and is easily erb “ It is good to dwell under the cro- broken under the hammer, by which it sier” proves that the episcopal power was may even be reduced to powder. It not prejudicial to the prosperity and hap- melts at 470° or 480°, and crystallizes, on piness of those subject to it. (See Clergy, cooling, with great regularity, in the form and Church of England.)

of cubes. When kept in a state of fusion, Bishop's Hood. (See Mitre.)

at a moderate heat, it is covered with an Bishop's STAFF. (See Crosier.) oxyde of a greenish-gray or brown color;

BISMARK, Frederic William, count ; at a higher temperature, it enters into a general of cavalry in the service of the feeble combustion, forming a yellow king of Würtemberg, and, since July powder, called flowers of bismuth. It 1825, his ambassador in Dresden, Berlin, combines, by fusion, with a great numHanover; born at Windheim, in West- ber of metals, communicating to them phalia, in 1783. He is distinguished as a brittleness and fusibility. The mixture writer on cavalry, and also as a practical discovered by Newton, and produced by officer. He was esteemed by Napoleon. melting together 8 oz. bismuth, 5 oz. lead The reigning king of Würtemberg, on his and 3 oz. tin, fuses at 202°. From it are accession to the throne, purposing an en- made toy spoons, which melt on being tirely new organization of his army, com- employed to stir very hot tea. A still mitted to count B. that of the cavalry. more fusible compound was invented by Here he established a new system. It Mr. Dalton, composed of 3 parts tin, 5 must be confessed that the Würtemberg lead and 103 bismuth, which melts at cavalry acquired, from his rules, much 1970. The addition of a little mercury facility in manæuvring. The objections renders it even more fusible, and fits it to which have been made against his system be used as a coating to the inside of glass are refuted by the practical demonstration globes. An alloy of equal parts of tin which B. has given of its utility in his and bismuth melts at 280o; a less proregiment. His views on cavalry are ex- portion of bismuth adds to the hardness plained at large in his Vorlesungen über of tin, and hence its use in the formation die Taktik der Reiterei (Lectures on Cav- of pewter. Equal parts of tin, bismuth alry Tactics), 1818, which is considered a and mercury form the mosaic gold, used standard work, and has been translated for various ornamental purposes. 1 part into French. Of his Felddienstinstruction of bismuth, with 5 of lead and 3 of tin, für Schützen und Reiter (Instruction in the forms plumbers' solder, a compound of Field-service of Riflemen and Cavalry), great importance in the arts. Bismuth is four editions have been published within also used by letter-founders in their best the space of two years. He has published, type-metal, to obtain a sharp and clear also, several other military works.

face for their letters. Bismuth combines

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with sulphur, and forms a bluish-gray north as 620 ; west of the Rocky mounsulphuret, having a metallic lustre. The tains, it is probable they do not extend same compound is found native in small north of the Columbia river. The bison, quantity, and is called, in mineralogy, on his native plains, is of savage and forbismuth glance.-Nitric acid dissolves bis- midable appearance, uniformly inspiring muth with great readiness. The solution dread when beheld for the first time. is decomposed on the addition of water, His ponderous head, rendered terrific by and a white substance, called magestens its thick, shaggy hair and streaming beard, of bismuth, is precipitated, which consists is supported upon a massive neck and of a hydrated oxyde, united to a small shoulders, whose apparent strength is proportion of nitric acid. This precipita- more imposing from the augmentation tion, by the addition of water, being a produced by the hump and the long fell of peculiarity of bismuth, serves as an excel- hair covering the anterior parts of the Ient criterion of this metal. The mages- body. Nevertheless, the bison is not tens of bismuth, from its whiteness, is known to attack man, unless when sometimes employed to improve the com- wounded and at bay. The difference plexion, as well as the pearl powder, a between the summer and winter dress of similar preparation, differing only by the the bison consists rather in the length mixture of a little muriatic acid with the than in other qualities of the hair. In nitric acid in effecting the solution of the summer, from the shoulders backwards, bismuth. The liberal use of either, how- the surface is covered with a very short, ever, is highly prejudicial to the skin. fine hair, smooth and soft as velvet. They are, besides, liable to be turned The tail is short, and tufted at the end. black by the vapors evolved from nearly Except the long hair on the fore parts, all putrefying substances.--The chloride which are, to a certain extent, of a rust of bismuth, formerly termed butter of bis- color, or yellowish tinge, the color is a muth, is formed by pouring bismuth, in uniform dun. Varieties of color are so fine powder, into chlorine gas, or by de- rare among this species, that the hunters priving the muriate of bismuth of its and Indians always regard them as matwater of crystallization by heat.

ters of special wonder. The bison bull is BISON (bos Americanus, Gmel.); a spe- poor, and his flesh disagreeable in the cies of ox found only in North America, months of August and September. They peculiarly distinguished by a great hump are much more easily approached and or projection over its fore shoulders, and killed than the cows, not being so vigilant, by the length and fineness of its woolly though the cows are preferred both on hair. The hump is oblong, diminishing account of their finer skins and more in height posteriorly, and gives a consid- tender flesh. The cow is much less than erable obliquity to the outline of the back. the bull, and has not so much of the long The hair over the head, neck and fore hair on the shoulders, &c.; her horns are part of the body is long and shaggy, form- not so large, nor so much covered by the ing a beard beneath the lower jaw, and hair. The sexual season begins towards descending below the knee (wrist) in a the end of July, and lasts till near the betuft. The hair on the summit of the ginning of September; after this time, head rises in a dense mass nearly to the the cows separate from the bulls in distips of the horns, and, directly on the tinct herds. They calve in April ; the front, is curled and matted strongly.—The calves seldom leave the mother until a numbers of this species still existing are year old ; cows are sometimes seen with surprisingly great, when we consider the calves of three seasons following them. immense destruction annually occurring Bison beef is rather coarser grained than since European weapons have been em- that of the domestic ox, but is considered ployed against them. They were once by hunters and travellers as superior in extensively diffused over what is now the tenderness and flavor. The hump, which territory of the U. States, except that part is highly celebrated for its richness and lying east of Hudson's river and lake delicacy, is said, when properly cooked, Champlain, and narrow strips of coast on to resemble marrow. The Indian method the Atlantic and Pacific. At the present of preparing this delicacy is the followday, their range is very different. They ing :-The hump is cut off the shoulders, are no longer found except in the remote, the bones removed, and a piece of skin is unsettled regions of the north and west, sewed over the denuded part. The hair being rarely seen east of the Mississippi is then singed off, and the whole is now or south of the St. Lawrence. West of ready for the oven. This is a hole in the lake Winnipeg, they are found as far earth, in and over which a fire has been

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